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Irish Derby predictions: Tuesday takes on the colts
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Enda McElhinney
Aidan O'Brien has 14 previous wins in the Irish Derby
Aidan O'Brien has 14 previous wins in the Irish Derby

The weekend racing highlight comes from the Curragh this afternoon as Oaks-winning filly Tuesday takes on the colts in the Irish Derby.

A field of eight are declared for the big race, set to go off at 3.45pm, with a first prize of just under £500,000 to the winning connections. 

Record-breaking trainer Aidan O'Brien has 14 previous wins, though only two of the last four, and it is a matter of real intrigue that his sole contender is the Epsom heroine.

Taking on the boys 

Just three fillies have managed to win the Irish Derby in the last 122 years and yet O'Brien, with an enormous depth of talent at his disposal, has put all his eggs in the basket of Tuesday making that four. 

Balanchine in 1994, for Frankie Dettori in the Godolphin blue, is the most recent filly to score with her success coming a mere four years after Willie Carson brought Salsabil home in front. 

However, before that, Gallinaria was the only previous Irish Derby-winning filly all the way back in 1900.

Now, 28 years on from Dettori's triumph, Ryan Moore partners the Epsom Classic winner — and she does look to have major claims. 

Beaten in the English and Irish 1000 Guineas in May, Tuesday relished the step up in trip to a mile-and-a-half and did very well to hold off fast-finishing Emily Upjohn in the Oaks. 

That form got a boost last weekend in France as third home, Nashwa, won the Prix de Diane at Chantilly. 

Clearly, Tuesday is a huge player and her master trainer's opinion must be respected. 

Prize may head West 

Westover will hope to build on a strong Epsom outing
Westover will hope to build on a strong Epsom outing

Westover is one of two British-trained contenders in the race as Ralph Becket's charge joins David Menuisier's Lionel, a progressive runner worthy of this opportunity. 

It is the Epsom Derby third that might well be best-equipped for this challenge, though.

Winner of a Sandown Classic Trial on his comeback, Westover did well upped to 1m4f at Epsom when rider Rob Hornby was faced with a thankless task racing on the running rail from stall two. 

They did not get the breaks and were held in a pocket at a crucial stage before failing narrowly to grab second spot late on. 

The winner Desert Crown was out of reach, but he could turn out to be an above-average Derby winner and Westover has fine claims of compensation now. 

Connections have booked Colin Keane, the three-time Irish champion jockey, for the ride and that can prove a masterstroke. 

Hannibal heads the remainder 

Both Joseph and Donnacha O'Brien have challengers lined up to overthrow their father's filly and Hannibal Barca for the former is a strong candidate. 

The ex-Brian Meehan inmate made a winning start for this trainer over a shorter trip at the Curragh last month when landing a Group 3 and the manner in which he went about that assignment bodes well for this stamina test.

Donnacha's Piz Badile was not without some support at Epsom and did not quite appear to handle the track there, so better could be forthcoming from him now. 

With a field of eight engaged, they are both possible each-way players, while Paddy Twomey's French Claim might have something to offer if conditions underfoot ease. 

Boundless Ocean was third behind Hannibal Barca here last month and while he is among the outsiders in this company, Jim Bolger's runner is another that cannot be overlooked entirely. 


This looks brave placement from O'Brien with Tuesday taking on the colts, but it might be Westover's day instead.


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